Yeah, I’m being blunt here, but why wouldn’t I? It’s the truth. They recently announced plans to raise National Insurance, something that will affect the poor a lot more than it will affect the wealthy. They plan to reduce Universal Credit payments soon, something else that will affect the poor, and not the wealthy. This is to cover rising social care costs, but there are ways of doing so that don’t put the crunch on the working class. Alas, the Tories have almost always favoured elitism and classism ahead of actually thinking about the rest of the country, and this latest move is yet more evidence of that.
The more money you earn, the smaller the percentage of National Insurance contributions gets. If you earn between roughly £10,000 and £50,000 per year, you pay 12% in NI contributions. Above £50,000 that percentage drops to only 2%.
The NI rise will reportedly bring in £12 billion to relieve stress on the NHS and help cover social care. Want to know how much money a 5% tax on the wealthy would raise? £262 billion. That is an increase of 2083%! You wouldn’t have to penalise the poor, and the rich would remain incredibly rich.
It’s at times like these that we hear how unfair it is to tax the wealthy, who as we know earned their wealth (cough). Never mind that millions of people who work hard earn a small fraction of what the wealthy earn (and I’d argue many workers, especially those in the NHS, are horribly undervalued). We need to take pity on the rich! Yet, with a fairer tax system (that as mentioned would still allow for the rich to be rich) there’d be a lot money in the pot, and with that, you could pay a decent living wage, provide a lot more for schools, hospitals and police, fix the roads, and generally raise the quality of life for the vast majority of the country.
This should be a no-brainer. The rich don’t suddenly become paupers (far from it) and everyone who is currently on the breadline can breathe a huge sigh of relief. So why are we as a nation not outraged at our current set of circumstances? There is an apathy to the casual cruelty and contempt for the poor on display from this government. The disparity in how rich and poor are taxed and the huge difference it could make to public funds should be headline news.
As a nation we have the resources to treat everyone fairly and with dignity. Not doing so is a choice, and a bad one at that.